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tv   Fox News Reporting  FOX News  September 26, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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not a great campaign slogan. however, i'll see you on monday at 9:00. >> the pope's visit to america is making the front pages. >> we see the writing on the wall. we know that our numbers are gone. >> and fewer are joining religious orders. >> do you fear that some day this order could be extingt? >> yes, you have to think of it. >> is the pope coming to a country where religion is in trouble? or is there hope for renewal? >> i'll be a witness for christ, the world, all of the time. >> you're arguing there's an awakening? >> yeah. >> fox news reporting. losing faith in america. from new york city, here is bill hammer. >> pope francis arrived in america with much fanfare as the most recognizable christian
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leader in the world, his very first visit to the united states is a significant event. but, for all the excitement, has he arrived at a time when christianity in america is a faith in crisis. >> the pope has had a busy schedule this week. he flew into washington on tuesday, his first-time ever on u.s. soil. >> everywhere he's gone, he's been met with adoring crowds. not that his trip has been entirely without controversy. >> we direct our most effect of the environmental interrogation caused by human activity. >> i think the gentleman is
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playing the political role instead of the papal role. >> some critics of his speech say he's becoming too political. >> redistribution of wealth and immigration. so what he's trying to do is forefront the issue with his role of the pope. >> but beyond questions of politics, there's a deeper problem that the church must face. for even as the pope dominates the news this week, this is a nation with the declining christian presence. a recent survey showed that there's a 10% drop. a large part of that decline came from catholicism.
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meanwhile, americans saying they have no particular religion at all grew significantly. this decline has had serious consequences. in new york city alone, more than 30 catholic churches closed their doors in august. >> we see the writing on the wall. we were living the church that was predicated on the '30s, '40s and '50s. >> timothy cardinal dolan is the archbishop of new york. >> huge families having six, seven, eight, nine, ten kids all in these concentrated, cohesive neighborhoods. those days are over. we can long for them. we can grieve that they're passed. but there's no use crying over that spilled milk. it's gone, okay. so we've got to live with that. cardinal dolan is the one who
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you will patly decided which churches closed and which did not. >> you can hardly assign a priest to a parish with 80 families when this's one-half mile away. >> how did you choose how you would consolidate? >> it wasn't easy. we got some outside professionals who have a good track record of helping other diocese do this. they met with our people and looked at the demographics of the arch diocese and divide it had 370 or so parishes that we had. >> one that closed was this one, our lady of peace said good-bye to its priests, had the locks changed and is now holding services outside as worshippers refuse to give up on their hundr hundred-year-old parish. it's the kind of scene that reflects what's been going on across the nation. >> let's face it, religious practice is down. why is that? i don't know, bill.
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it's tough to graph the interiors. it's tough to graph the soul. >> the pope will soon be back in rome. but will he will leaving behind a country where the religious impulse is fading, as well. >> when we come back, look at christianity across america, how much trouble is it facing and is there hope for renewal.
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we've just seen how some churches are closing here in new york city. but the problem goes deeper. if present trends continue, many worry about the future of the catholic church itself in america. we went to see a vennble order of nuns just 30 miles north of here to see if their story offered a clue about this phenomenon. >> the order of the sisters was
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founded more than a century ago but mother mare joseph. centered in new york, they devote their lives to service overseas. >> our first mission was new york city, china town. >> sister rose marie has been a nun for 56 years. >> after that, i went to kennon. they sent me up to canada where i worked for people protecting land rights. and then, from there, i went to the congo. >> sister ro, as she is known, is on a break before she returns to her greatest mission, kurdistan in northern iraq. >> i really admire the sisters. they go places people don't want to go. and they do incredible things. >> the newest sister is mau maura rutton. she made her first vows just last month. they work with refugees, handicapped, the poorest of the poor. and, for me, it was just that's
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what i wanted to do. i wanted to be with her at my side. >> the problem with maura is a rarity whose average age is in the 80s. >> does it bother you that the average age of the marinol sisters is in the 80 it's a lot than it was in the 1950s. no order will continue, will we get new sisters. that's a lot to think about. >> the current president is antoinette. she joined marinol in 1964. when i was growing up as a young catholic, and if i were sitting across from you, you would look different to me because you would be wearing a habit. and today, you're not. >> the change came act because of the second vatican council. >> that council, and formally known as vatican ii, started the
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change in the church in the mid 1960s. >> vatican ii is this incredible huge meeting where they grappled with how to make the catholic message or the catholic church more user friendly. >> the changes brought were first found on superficial matters, such as allowing meat on fridays and changing the attire of nuns. >> if you were walking down the street and wearing a habt, i would know that you're a catholic nun. but if i see you now, i don't see that immediately. >> not in the dress, but if you were to trip and fall and i picked you up, you might know. >> does that bother you that i don't have the immediate recognition? >> we all should give the same honor to everyone. i don't want to be treated special. >> after vatican ii, voted to remove their habts and shed
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other traditions, as well. >> what did vatican ii mean to the mairinol sisters? >> oh, it was fantastic. >> what did it do for you? >> we gradually got out of some of the more traditional works that we were in. such as schools and hospitals and went to other places. went more on the margins of society where people hadn't been before. i don't mean to be grandiose about it. but gave us a sense that our founders wanted us to go out and be a reflection of god's love. and to go where the poor are in order to show that love. >> whatever else it was, the era of vatican ii was a turning point. the numd beryl ber of nuns in a hits peak in 1965 and it's been falling ever since. there were 150,000 nuns 50 years ago and only 48,000 today. others claim it was changes within the church that helped
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bring this about. factions in the church seem more inclined to cultural relativism than the conversion of souls and question the church's exclusive claim on truth believing it was the church that had much to learn from the world. whatever the reason, sister noni, who spent most of her time at the missionary in taiwan, is now back facing the problem of a vanishing order. when she joined in the 1960s, marinol had over 1600 world wide. today, that number is just over 400. >> do you fooer some day that this order can be extingt? >> yes, of course. religious orders have come and gone. they've met a need at a certain time. and then when that need is fulfilled, they've passed on. oh, yeah, have we completed what mother mary joseph started? >> and it's also a religion
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that's h decline. you can see the numbers drop over the past several years. >> i think it's because the church, the churches, don't speak directly to the heart of the people and where people are at. has the church left the people? >> despite the problems, she's hopeful for the church's future. >> the all has different approaches. we all have different ways to give to god. >> when we come back, we look at some other churches whose different ways and different approaches may be helping religion make a come back.
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so the marinol order is not what it once was. there are pockets of strength in america where the faith, sometimes against the odds, is buckling up. >>. >> middle tennessee. an area often referred to as the buckle of the bible belt. and you can see why. everywhere you look, there's a different church. >> even among these places of worship, one baptist church stands out. >> back if the early 2, 000s, there were probably 75, 80 people coming on sunday.
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>> he took over, the church was alive with faith. and parishioners. but in recent years, the numbers began to dwindle. >> over time, our con gre dwags got over. >> not too long ago, it would have been shocking to see a southern baptist church struggling. but not anymore. losing more than 200,000 members in 2014 alone. gla larry feared it was the end of his church. >> well, the business and finance committee, wed met
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rarely anyway, to try to keep up with the finances of the church. we finally faced the inevitable and realized we were going to have to do something different. we were going to have to sell the property or do something with it. an egyptian baptist minister was holding worship services for a growing population in the area. his followers were looking for a church to call home. so he met with a local pastor. >> there is a church. and there was think iing. i say yes, i am.
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>> when we brought it before the congregation, it was unanimous. and we felt that we needed to offer. >> there is actually one more option. the value of the land the church was sitting on around a million dollars. they never considered going for the money. >> i honestly don't think we had a choice. >> and it stayed that way. the first day was really good.
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>> tgs a wondserful time. >> it was really heartwarming to see how well they received the church. >> in the arabic-speaking christian's came. >> it's like a home away from home. it's really important to understand the need of all people and trying to reach it. >> but others came, too. >> language is not a problem.
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parishioners listen to her through headphones. >> you know what, jesus is the same. a savior who will be the same. >> i feel a nice, close connection. i like his preaching. i like the style of the service. >> still, not everyone gets it. i think why wouldn't you want
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god's work to continue? >> and thanks to this unlikely union, continue it does. the baptist church is just one unexpected spa that's reduced the national trend. it may look like a rock concert, but this is a christian service. >> this is not the kind of church i group up in: music is the one thing that connects people more than anything else. not the old heads, bud i don't think we have to be stuck this the old days. it ice hard to connect the 21st century, you know, 25-year-old, to something that happened 1700
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years ago. >> a thriving church with pen kosal roots was founded in australia. in just over 30 years, it has grown from a congregation of 45 people. this one is in new york city. >> so these are your views. >> i guess you can call them views, yes. >> what void do you believe song feels? >> i perjly believe that no matter what statisticings say, no matter what you would see in churches with the student declining x you may not see
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that. but my personal experience with people is deep, downed in, fundamentally inside, they're looking for something spiritual. >> houston says at face value, his church is entertaining. that brings people in. et goes back in time. in the 21st century. >> i think your churmg would be described as forward leaning. but do you still rely on the traditions of the safe? >> yes, we do. i guess we have our own sense of traditions.
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so we're very con receivabletive when it comes to the message. >> i think it's working because ultimately, people are here. >> what about the catholic church where we started our program. it turns out there are signs of regrowth there u awell. we also find signs of dweep division.
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live from america's news headquarters i'm anita vogel. secretary of state john kerry meeting with his counter part in yemen, saying there would be further discussions in up coming weeks. kerry also expressed concerns about americans missing in iran. china hosting a high level meeting at the un to promote equality. human rights groups are taking china to task over human rights activis activists. now back to fox news reporting. now, back to fox news reports.
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>> reporter: soo far, polls suggest that christianity in america are on a decline. the future is not quite so dire. >> in late february, more than a hundred young women converge on anne arbor. home to the university of michigan. >> one of the youngest and fastest growing convents in the nation. >> it may seem an unusual choice.
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but perhaps these young women are driven by other factors. one of them is jane thomas studying evolutionary biology. >> i may be here studying how a monkey got my scrubs. >> do we know why i'm here other than in prayer? so here i am. >> another young woman at the retreat is a senior at the university of notre dame. >> the o rimal plan was to become an engineer.
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the dominican sisters feel like the perfect fit. when you meet a guy and you like him, you don't think about all the reasons that you like him. you just know that you do. >> i want to be a sister. >> but she's had plenty of time to think about it since. >> how many of you made this retreat before? how many of you are brand new and these retreats really do work. >> sister joseph andrew is one of the founders of this order. she welcomes the young women at each retreat. >> you set aside your life for 24 or 48 hours, whatever it is,
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to let god speak. >> the young women stay overnight on the floor oval a classroom where they may, one day, teach. they'll hear from sisters on what to expected if they enter the order. >> since its inception, thoef grown from four founders to 120 sisters sisters with an average age of 30.
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>> we don't trust their desire. >> i think my generation is realizing where you can find it. and that's in christie. >> the dominican sisters are more of a conservative order. >> they see it as beautiful because when i get to receive my habt and wear it, i'll be a visible witness for christ, the world, all of the time. >> the women stayed up all night in the chapel asking god whether they belonged there. when the weekend was over, two out of three were sure of their path.
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>> i mean, i walked out of there smiling ear-to-ear. everyone today, i was just, like, i couldn't stop smiling. >> only jane wasn't sure. not yet, anyway. >> et really kpeeted my expectations not signing up. but i don't know what will happen. >> jane hant rule out religious life. meanwhile, chris teeb and rachel are two of a dozen young women who joined the do men canisters in august. >> when we return, more signs of resurgence among catholics in america. but also signs of possible trouble.
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: in addition to the dominican sisters, there are other examples of the resurgence to the catholics in america. an old steel town in the appalachian foothills. it's also home to where
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student-run conferences began. >> we're celebrating this summer our 40th anniversary. >> dr. scott, theology professor at the francis can university is also an author of 40 books believes we're in a crisis. >> what seemed to be unthinkable now feels like it's unstoppable. >> this conference held in the last weekend of july is called defending the faith. >> to han, the attacks from the outside have caused trouble on the inside. >> we 'got so many catholic
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americans who are 9 parts american and 1 part kat lyric. >> what causes that. i think we've driven god out of the public square. in the process, what we've done is forced secularization. >> han should know he, himself, is a convert to catholicism. >> i was the unreachable kid in my high school.
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>> jesus christ found me. >> so you would argue the traditional church has greater strength than a church that evolves? >> or changes with the culture. the church is counter cultural. the church has to shape the culture. and that's the difference. >> francis can university is a prime example of an institution devoted to traditional teachings, not cultural currents. the students we talk to might be young, but the faith they follow is old. >> you feel you were called to be here? >> i really do. >> you have thousands of teenagers, teenagers, now,
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praying out whoed, worshipping god all together as one. it was amazing. >> this is a group on campus for students committed to joining the priesthood. one of them is a graduate of the academy. he said whatever he did, he would not be able to get the same joy of being a priest. the joy doesn't even compare to the joy that i feel here. >> when we return, we'll come back to new york city where many churches have closed and look at how one catholic church is
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new york for law school and i went to a catholic law school. >> matthew is a 30-year-old lawyer living in new york city. he attends mass at the church of st. paul the apossible chl
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. father gilbert martinez. >> what is considered sinful is homosexual agents. >> father gill oversees an out reach for the lgbt community, which has 120 active message. >> what is your message? >> it's the message of the gospel. we don't do it differently for anyone in the church. they're loved by god and invited to live their lives in faith that way. >> it seems to be working. the church is crowded on sundays and attracts a relatively young congregation. >> one conflict is the church's stance on homosexuality this, is
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a big issue for young people. >> i don't know -- >> i believe that if homosexuals have not been blessed. we don't consider it sinful. we have to continue to take people where they're at. if they understand themselves being homosexual then, they can decide whether they're going to be chaste. some catholics do that. others say i know my life is calls for being in a loving relationship. >> the parish might have the best intentions in mind. the national director of priests for life is concerned that the church needs to make clear that it's teachings are through word and action. >> they might in their mind saying yes. we have all of the church's
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teaches but we want to reach out to these people to let them know they're welcome here as well. now, my problem is that you have a responsibility when you avoid scandal. what scandal means is that i raise now a doubt in the minds of my people about what the church is teaching. >> the church will open its doors but it cannot give the impression it condones any sin. >> we're not going to apologize for saying they're at odds with the teaching of the church. they're coming to a community which believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. it is not up to us to change. that i am convinced people are taking this and running with it in the wrong direction. >> some see the church as following the lead of pope francis and his statements about homosexuality. >> one question was asked about gay priests. he said if someone is gay and
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has goodwill, who am i to judge? those five words. >> earth shattering words that more or less, he did plagiarism to jesus. so not bad. >> francis is saying all i did is quote jesus, which is my job. >> he thinks the catholic church's tone changed because of the pope. >> i think when you have pope francis saying more than we've heard in the past. i'm not going to say the church more accepting. i feel like it is more accepting than before. as long as francis continues to say who am i to judge, the people in your ministry will be okay. that is where we're at now. >> expectations are high. >> they are. yes. they are. >> and to automatically consent
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to a number of issues that could be seen as being invoked. it's something i struggle with. i think a lot about right now, i feel like i'm at a place in this particular parish, in this church that i feel welcomed but i feel i'm not being judged and that i feel hopeful that this is what the catholic church should be. >> so is pope francis prepared to say goodbye to america? there are troubling trends. many feel positive about the future of the church. >> do you think pope francis can lead a revival in the catholic church? >> yes. i do. the perception of the catholic church, even among catholic people is that we're sort of a nagging, crabby, restrictive, corrupt and worn out church. francis is breaking that perception. what people are seeing is that there is a revived interest.
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people who have been bruised or drifted or have something a bit of left in practicing faith. >> never theless, there is a concern among catholics that the message of the church not be lost in the flurry of excitement of a new pope with a new way of communicating. >> it is an exclamation and the pope is the one entrusted by god. his prime yarry responsibility is making that exclamation point. part of that is acting on the mercy of god. the pope is the one who is responsible for making the teachings clear. the haft thing we want is that he will be the one making people feel he is unclear. >> do you believe the church needs to do a better job? or do you find that perhaps
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young people, perhaps adults themselves, are more attracted to the traditional churches? >> i have no doubt in my mind there is something about this tradition. it's not man made. it is divine. it's alive in a way that is like our own soul. i would say the position of the church will never be timely in any culture but it is timely and for people of every culture, in a way this is life giving in a way society will never be. >> jesus told peter upon this rock i will build my church. but today, the fear is that the rock is crumbling. some believe what holds up the church is traditions and beliefs going back thousands of years. others insist the traditions must respond to a changing
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world. the difficult question is which path to follow. it's not an exaggeration to say the church's future may depend on that answer. that is our show. thanks for watching.
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